BoU director pins Bagyenda on Global Trust Bank takeover

Saturday December 8 2018

Former Bank of Uganda Executive Director for

Former Bank of Uganda Executive Director for Supervision Justine Bagyenda appears before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises at Parliament in Kampala on December 3, 2018. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By MOSES KYEYUNE

Parliament. The Director of Financial Markets Development at the Central Bank has confessed to conspiring with Ms Justine Bagyenda to constitute a two-man team in negotiating Global Trust Bank takeover by dfcu Bank.
Appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) yesterday, Mr Ben Sekabira said all he remembers is the fact that no minutes were taken at the meeting.
He also said his attendance was a matter of loyalty to Ms Bagyenda, the then executive director for Commercial Supervision at the Bank of Uganda (BoU).
“I can confirm that I participated in the negotiation between dfcu and BoU,” Mr Sekabira said.
But he was quick to say his attendance was on invitation.
“Work in the Bank was by instruction; when my boss asked me to join her in the meeting I could not object,” Mr Sekabira said.
The committee had put both Ms Bagyenda and Mr Sekabira on the spot for taking a two-man decision, while negotiating the transfer deal of the defunct Global Trust Bank to dfcu. Only Ms Bagyenda signed the deal on behalf of the Central Bank.
On Thursday, BoU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and two other directors told a parliamentary probe into the closed commercial banks that Ms Bagyenda and Mr Sekabira without authority entered a Memorandum of Understanding that kick-started the closure of Global Trust Bank in 2014.
But during the Friday interface, the committee was informed that Ms Bagyenda was acting for the governor and his deputy, who were both out of office at the time.
However, committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu said the governor and deputy governor’s roles are non-transferrable.
“These are your powers. If you are going to exercise powers conferred upon you by the Constitution, there is a problem,” Mr Katuntu said.
Meanwhile, Ms Bagyenda insists her participation in the negotiation was based on the presence of a non-disclosure agreement drawn by the Central Bank’s legal team and that she cannot be accused of breaking the law.
Committee members are concerned that BoU officials breached confidentiality clauses and spilled secrets of the sinking bank to its potential buyer, long before the victim was declared closed.
Mr Katuntu said the committee would give its position on the matter at an internal meeting at the end of the probe.
The committee has also raised the red flag, citing possible collusion and conflict of interest in the manner by which dfcu Bank has become the perpetual buyer of defunct banks.

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